Agronomy (May 2021)
The Influence of Lime Material and Nitrogen Fertilization on Reed Canary Grass Productivity, Plant Quality and Environmental Impact of Using Biomass for Energy Purposes
A field experiment with reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea L.) was carried out at LAMMC Vėžaičiai Branch (Western Lithuania) in 2010–2016 with the aim to evaluate the impact of liming and nitrogen on grass productivity, biomass chemical content and energetic parameters of the pellets. The site soil is the natural acidic loam Retisol (pH 4.2–4.6). Reed canary grass productivity was significantly affected by the year of growing and nitrogen fertilization. The average annual dry matter (DM) yield varied from 5442 to 11,114 t ha−1. The highest yields were obtained using the annual rate of 120 kg ha−1 N (nitrogen) fertilizers. Soil liming had a negligible effect on biomass productivity. Nitrogen utilization efficiency (NUE) varied greatly depending on the growing year and N fertilization rate. After analyzing the properties of reed canary grass and wood sawdust granules, it was found that the granules obtained a high density exceeding 1000 kg m−3 DM. The lowest calorific value of reed canary grass pellets was found to be quite high—17.4 MJ kg−1 DM. All harmful emissions did not exceed the permissible values. Summarizing the results, it can be stated that reed canary grass pellets may be recommended for burning in domestic boilers.